Faisal Kapadia and Dr. Awab Alvi head to Sukkur and Shikarpur along with offroadpakistan & SA Relief to deliver relief to the affectees in the region. During the trip they produced the 22nd episode of the Laidback Show
On return after our first relief effort to Sukkur two weeks back we had several meetings amongst the core group of volunteers adopting a long term medical relief and rehabilitation strategy, however during the subsequent week we continued to receive urgent demands for help emanating from many of the inundated villages of Sukkur and Shikarpur
Thus in response to these pleas we embarked yet again on the 21st of August with a convoy of 8 trucks laden with relief goods of which seven were carrying relief hampers while one carried the load of a hundred tents accompanied by their donor. The convoy consisted of 7 cars and we made our way to Sukkur at around 5 pm passing through Hyderabad and Kotri which was slowly becoming inundated with flood water as the water levels had considerably increased since our first relief mission a week earlier.
Our staging area & warehouse was arranged by Taimur Mirza through the local MNA Agha Taimur located on the main Shikarpur – Sukkur link road. We immediately offloaded our seven trucks of relief goods into this warehouse and with the help of the U.N coordination center in Sukkur dispatched the 100 tents to a PAF-managed IDP relief campsite on the Sukkur Bypass road
If there is anything the government should learn from this flood, it is to take education and women empowerment more seriously. The enormous task of taking care of so many IDPs iz only magnified many fold by lack of a good base. If these IDPs were a little better educated it would have been so much easier for the govt. to house them. How can a mother take care of 10-15 children? It is simply not possible. Corroborating Dr Nighats experience when told about family planning theyre responses were ‘have you no fear of Allah’ or ‘our husbands want it-they beat us’ Many females do understand but the men dont.
A woman came to one of our camps today asking for birth control pills an amazing happening, to our shame- we had none with us – I wonder if medical teams should carry IM depoprovera-council them and administer?
We went to 3 camps today All of them were tent villages
- it is good that people are being moved from schools, not all of the desks will become firewood
- please make a note that after the floods are over much help will be
As customary to our Relief trips to the flooded areas, Faisal Kapadia and I will be live GPS tracking and Live Tweeting all along the way. Our plan is to depart Karachi on the morning of Sunday 22nd August accompany a convoy of 8 relief good trucks, be joined by 7-8 accompanying vehicles with around 25 odd volunteers to head to Shikarpur. We hope to offload all the goods in a secure warehouse in Shikarpur and from there strategically disburse the relief to deserved people in the area.
As different from the previous CoverItLive we launched last time, our emphasis is to concentrate / share tweets from only the people taking part in this particular mission and the readers will not be bothered or overwhelmed by the other twitter chatter.
GPS Tracking will be maintained for record sake, to be transmitted every 5-10 minutes from our phones
Both Awab and I recently went on separate trips to Kot Addu and Sukkur, into just some of the areas affected by the flood. I think that by now, the scale of the disaster is hitting people- even Ban Ki Moon’s statement sent everyone scurrying for ideas and strategies to deal with the flood. The food relief truck I went with was organized by Saad Sarfraz Sheikh, an inspiring photographer and friend, who pulled in food through donations, and had someone arrange for a truck to transport it all to Kot Addu. I must also mention that even now, Saad’s father remains trapped at the PARCO refinery in the Kot Addu area.
I realize that we’re going through the greatest natural disaster that we’ve gone through- ever, and what’s more important, is that the world is realizing this as well. Rather than going into the usual analysis-paralysis of why the floods were so bad this year, or why the politicians are so indifferent, this article candidly shares what Awab and I have learned from our short trips into the field (Awab is more experienced with relief work, since he also helped out with earthquake and army-operation refugees earlier). I’m also cowriting this with him so that we share experiences from different affected floodzones. If you are working in Balochistan or Khyber Pakhtunwa or any of the many, many regions that we aren’t please get in touch or just write your thoughts out as a comment. No time for formalities here.
Normally, a social worker would write this, but I wanted us, normal people with no training, to put out thoughts together on what worked, and what didn’t work based on our experiences. Why? Because the majority of Pakistanis who can help- are average people like Awab, Saad, myself and you.
With a very heavy heart I write this blog post urging for immediate suport for the flood relief victims. We have been receiving word from many sources that there is dire need for food relief in the disaster stricken areas people may possibly be dying while we sit comfortably in our homes enjoying those lavish iftaris. With 20 million poeple suffering from the disaster we simply cannot wait for International donor agencie to suddenly wake up and come running, they simply are not too concerned the political leadership PPP despite being in power has zero presence in this region and all feudal lords are busy protecting their own lands while the rest can go to hell.
This last week a group of friends from OffroadPakistan and MotorSports Club of Pakistan embarked upon a relief mission to Sukkur, One team setup a small tent city of about 50 odd tents provided them with food and water, while the remaining hampers were distributed in and around the disaster area. Another team took the step to head towards Kashmore with about 1800 food hampers, went door to door and they got a first hand glimpse of what hunger and starvation has done to these dislocated people. Frantic requests have come forth to come now not later, and to come repeatedly, have emerged from all these areas, whatever we do, is at best a small drop, but help nevertheless to hopefully save our people.
OffroadPakistan was envisioning a longer planned approach with the establishment of a tent city to the likes of over 500 tents housing 5000 people with total logistical support for the next 3 months.
With the repeated pleas for help, it has compelled us not to sit back and plan, but to delivery NOW targeting remote locations where aid has not reached, being offroading enthusiasts we need to push the envelop to go further and deeper. So hence forth launches the effort for our second relief mission this weekend Saturday we depart and with the hope to return Monday evening if not sooner. To plan for this sudden trip we have some donations left over from last week which can be diverted to acquiring one truck of food hampers [600 from makro, we have commitment for a truck of bread [Papay]. We are issuing an urgent call for donation, the best way is to donate cash to me personally [23-B Sindhi Muslim Society] alternatively you can arrange for goods in-kind but preferably in pre-packaged hampers [which should be ready to depart on Friday night] as usual the entire trip will be documented via Twitter, GPS and Facebook, so everyone will have live updates of where we are and what we are doing.
Step up NOW, pakistan simply cannot wait
Offroadpakistan in conjunction with MotorSports Club of Pakistan and SARelief we embarked upon a relief mission to Sukkur. Offroadpakistan took charge of three trucks and distributed the goods by establishing a tent city on the outskirts of Sukkur while the MotorSports Club of Pakistan went ahead to Kashmore to distribute the remaining three trucks. Pictures from the offroad team is included here
It seems we are finally off on our mission to provide relief to the flood affected region in Sukkur, Sindh. The OffroadPakistan has collected some significant funding for taking 6 trucks of relief good valued at more then Rs. 2.4 Million – four trucks of standardized basic food valued at Rs. 16,80,000, one truck containing a mixture of food hampers acquired from Makro at a cost of Rs. 4,43,585 and the sixth truck laden with tents and water bottles valued at Rs. 6,75,000. We are also trucking 250 1-kg tin cans of read-to-eat biryani generously donated by a friend of ours. We are not taking any medicine, but hope to concentrate on a medical relief later. The cost of trucking is approximately Rs. 25,000 per truck and im sure there shall be incidentals in between for this transportation process
IIt must be remembered that all this is the effort of quite a lot of people and the generous contribution of Pakistanis wanting to help their fellow citizens who are suffering in these devastated areas. We as representatives of OffroadPakistan are headed towards Sukkur hoping to distribute three trucks there while our friends at MotorSports Club of Pakistan shall accompany three trucks with an attempt to approach Jacobabad and hope to disburse it there.
Our plans are that we do plan for a phase 2 of the relief effort which we hope shall be a larger and grander push, this first trip shall serve as a reconnaissance trip for the bigger push in 10-12 days after this.
With so much of confusion in the area we are hoping to do our best, to keep track of our progress I have installed a GPS tracker on my Blackberry which will transmit our location every 60 seconds, it will be a drain on the battery but it shall remain on as long as Mobilink service supports GPRS in the area.